Everyone wants to close sales faster, especially in B2B sales which tend to take a long time to come to fruition. Navigating the multiple layers of authority required to sign off on purchases can take months, and shaving off even 10 percent of the time involved can make a big difference. Speed equals power!
Deals which take forever drain energy and dampen morale. They are definitely a signal something is wrong. However, closing the sale training can help. Let’s explore this indicator and two others which point to the need for sales training.
Deal velocity too slow
I cannot give you a universal time frame for when a deal is officially “long in the tooth,” because every business operates on a different time frame. But, I can share a method to identify bottlenecks and then take action no matter your specific industry.
First, determine your average sales cycle duration by looking at sales data for the past year or two. This can be broken down by product, region, price point, or whatever is most relevant to your business. How long has it taken to close your deals from initial contact to getting the PO?
Once this is done, you can examine the current pipeline and assess in a fair manner which salespeople need closing the sale training based on your historical averages. This is superior to operating on mere opinion, which can negatively skew your decision-making, and it makes salespeople feel unfairly treated.
This is a subjective metric, I know. That being said, managers and executives should keep their ears to the ground to detect low morale, because it can simmer below the surface and blow up suddenly into a major situation if ignored. What I mean is people quitting, lost accounts, and general bad feelings. Not good!
The root cause for low morale is usually a lack of production, and that in turn stems from a lack of closing the sale training. When salespeople possess natural sales talent, you can turn that into gold via training. Salespeople need to learn the indicators when a buyer is ready to close and the right words, in the right tone of voice, to get an agreement to purchase. If they don’t have this knowledge, they fail to sell much – and suffer from low morale.
Sluggish revenue growth
If revenue growth is stagnant, or dips for a couple of quarters, you likely need closing the sale training to reverse it. Many executives blame external factors, such as a lousy economy, competitors, the weather, etc. to explain away stagnant revenue. In truth, the biggest sources of failure are all internal. Even if people have “no money,” as in the case of a recession, somehow many businesses manage to sell plenty. Having a well-trained sales force backed by a sound sales process can definitely make all the difference.
When things start going bad, there will always be little clues before the big disaster strikes. Signals like the three indicators above can forewarn you and prevent larger issues – but only if you pay attention and take effective action.